So now that you have a bit of background I’d like to focus on the good stuff, the happy, lucky life I’ve recently been given. As I mentioned, my husband and I just moved to Hawaii, an absolute dream come true for both of us. It is possibly the only place we can imagine loving more than Long Beach, and, upon arrival, it won our hearts. Not to mention my body. The climate is perfect, I am able to be more active again, and the average pain level has dropped quite a bit. When I was living in Chicago I was generally at least at a seven on a one to ten scale of pain. When I moved to California, (on one of my extremely intense and seemingly random urges), it dropped to about a five. Between the climate change, the amazing job and the new love I was in heaven! It was the best I had felt since being diagnosed. Then came South Carolina, which pushed it back up to six or seven, mainly because with the smell, (we lived in a swamp), and the bugs that bit me unmercifully, I didn’t leave the house much. We were also living in an area where no one walked anywhere, there was nothing in walking distance and no crosswalks or bike lanes or anything nearby to make use of. Since we only had one car I just became a hermit, focused more inward and so the pain increased. Physically and mentally it was just not a good place for me. So, when we received orders to Hawaii you can imagine my reaction. It was like being given a second chance to get myself back together, back on track. I had been on the right path in Long Beach but I followed my heart away from it, knowing that it wouldn’t be going anywhere. I’ve always believed that once I found the right person the place and the job wouldn’t matter, places you can always go back to and there are always other jobs. And even as awful as I think South Carolina is, my husband is definitely worth a couple years in a crappy place. Especially when you look at where we are now!
I have always loved moving, there is something so therapeutic about purging all your unnecessary items and starting over somewhere new. It’s stressful but it’s beautiful, it’s a clean slate and an opportunity to restart and renew your enthusiasm for life. By moving to paradise I knew I was getting the ultimate opportunity, to rebuild what has become of my life with fibro. I don’t want to be a hermit anymore, I don’t want to be overweight and in pain all the time. Already I’m down to about a three or four on the pain scale on average. I have bad days that spike it up higher, but with all the activity here lately that’s no surprise. Overall, my baseline here is much lower, which allows me to continue the activity and work towards losing weight and feeling more healthy physically.
It’s incredible how it’s all connected, fibro has forced me to be more aware of my body’s rhythms and cycles. As I’m able to be more active it makes me more legitimately tired so I’m able to sleep soundly most nights. I’m less lethargic and foggy throughout the day, which is an amazing change. The fog that fibro puts you in is awful, it’s like living at a slower speed than the rest of the world. You’re slow to react, slow to think, nearly incoherent at times. What I found to be the scariest part was that when I’m in that fog I have no idea how bad it is. When we finally got me on a medication that worked I saw exactly how slowly my brain had been reacting. I went through brain exercises, before and during the medication and the results were astounding. Simple math problems, especially when timed, were nearly impossible without the meds. And I had no clue until we tested this, I thought I was operating maybe not at my full potential but near it. I thought fibro only affected my body, not my brain. So to find that easy logic puzzles or math problems made me stumble was disconcerting. Disconcerting and depressing. Thankfully the meds cleared that fog away for the most part. On days that the pain is higher my brain clearly functions slower, but nowhere near as bad as before the medication.
Now, with this combination of medication, activity, and sun it seems like maybe I can really start over, be almost like a normal person again. Putting myself in this situation, in this place with this person, is the best thing I have ever done for myself. Physically, emotionally, mentally I have been able to grow and adapt an outlook on everything that is much healthier, not to mention less stressful. Over time, you’d think that keeping up this endless positivity would get draining, but the opposite has happened, I find it is just in my nature now, it is my response to everything. And the more positive I am, the more positive things keep happening to me, and so I am happier and so the cycle keeps building. I don’t shy away from the bad things either, it’s not being in a state of denial, but rather a state of acceptance of both the good and bad in the world. I do get down sometimes, frustrated, hurt, etc. But, as cheesy as it sounds, it really is learning to accept the things we cannot change and changing the things we can. It took a while for that to really hit home for me, but now that it has I finally feel at peace with myself and my situation.